The hit NBC crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has been on the air for 22 seasons. After feeling the absence of our longtime favorite duo Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), we are so excited they're finally reuniting. The reconciliation stems from Stabler's return to the NYPD after suffering a huge personal loss, and the SVU crossover event in Episode 9 will set up the spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime starring Chris.
A reunion between the former partners was forthcoming, and now several years of busting his acting chops in other significant roles, Chris is back on the Law & Order scene. Hopefully, he's ready to bear the process of Stabler and Benson's reunion, something that Chris says fans won't be too happy with.
Maybe he thinks fans won't be satisfied because Elliot has been gone for quite a while from SVU, and the chemistry might be off between him and his ex-partner. Keep reading to find out why he feels the reunion will disappoint.
How long has Elliot Stabler been gone from 'SVU'?
Almost 10 years ago, Stabler left Law & Order: SVU Victims Unit after Season 12. Chris left the show because of a contract dispute. When his contract had expired back in 2011, he and NBC went back and forth on a new deal, but a new one was never made that both parties could agree on. In a 2017 interview on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Chris said he didn’t regret leaving SVU and confirmed that he knew it was time to depart “when negotiations broke down.”
Elliot's last scenes ended up being part of a cliffhanger. His long-time partner Benson was informed briefly of his retirement in Season 13 Episode 2, leaving her utterly shocked and disappointed. The rest of the team wasn't too happy about Elliot's departure either, but of course, Olivia was the one who took his absence the hardest. It makes sense that Elliot and Olivia's reunion may not be as pleasant as fans would hope considering all the years he's been gone.
An interview with TVLine alludes to the fact that fans won't be satisfied with what transpires as they reconnect, and it appears that a lot of that has to do with how long he's been away. He shares, "I mean, it’s such a long time. It is so many unanswered questions. I think there’s such a great sense of abandonment and betrayal and a what-the-f--k-ed-ness of it all, that, you know, that wound is, you know, not going to get its dressings all, you know, squared away."
He added, "You know, it’s going to be a process, right?"
Well, we think viewers will just be excited at the fact that Stabler and Benson are on the screen together again! We are!
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC. Law & Order: Organized Crime will follow, Thursdays at 10.